Thursday, May 28, 2020

Rugged Mountain Root Beer

I opened this last night while FINISHING UP MY GRADING for the school year! (Yay!)

Rugged Mountain Root Beer

Brand: Rugged Mountain Root Beer

Origin: Poultney, VT.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Evaporated Cane Juice.

Review: First of all, IT'S CLEAR! That's unusual. And maybe that made it taste a little weak to me - I don't know. It was oddly sweet. It had that slightly herby flavor of root beer, but this was just so generically smooth and sweet. It was unique, but a little odd. Not bad, but slightly strange at the same time. I still really don't know how I feel about this, so I'll just give it a middle-of-the-road score.

Score: 5 out of 10.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

North Star Vanilla Cream Soda

I opened this earlier tonight:

North Star Vanilla Creme Soda

Brand: North Star Vanilla Cream Soda.

Origin: Spring Lake Park, MN. (Purchased by Blue Sun Soda; formerly of Forest Lake, MN.)

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: I first had a sip of this at a "cream soda tasting" event at Blue Sun Soda 6 months ago, and I noted in that post that "I remember the North Star being very creamy." It wasn't my favorite at the tasting, but because I noted that, I must have thought it was OK.

Well, it trying it again, I found that quote to be super true. This *MIGHT* be the creamiest and smoothest soda I've ever had. It just floated above my tongue and down my throat. It's pleasantly sweet and almost a bit floral. And there's definitely a little smooth kick of vanilla - I can see why it's called a "vanilla" cream. Its flavor is almost overpowered by just HOW sweet it is. This is quite unique and worth a taste.

Score: 9 out of 10.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Monday, May 11, 2020

Summit Craft Root Beer

This past weekend, we took a quick trip to a local state park, and I brought along some root beer to share. My wife had picked up a 4-pack of this at Aldi here in St. Paul last week:

Summit Craft Root Beer
On the picnic table during our lunch.

I gave my boys some in their own cups, and then Henry cleaned up the bottle when it was time.

Brand: Summit Craft Root Beer.

Origin: Batavia, IL.

Purchase Place: Aldi, St. Paul, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar.

Review: It had a good head and was pretty smooth. The end of each sip had a bit of a wintergreen bite, and it was maybe a BIT more than I cared for, but it wasn't too bad. Pretty decent overall.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Saturday, May 2, 2020

Yacht Club Hillary's Liberal Limeade

Here's the 2nd part of my "Donald vs Hillary" drink off:

Yacht Club: Donald's Populist Punch and Hillary's Liberal Limeade

(In case you missed it, here's part 1 from Tuesday. I tried both sodas at the same time to compare them head-to-head.)

Yacht Club Hillary's Liberal Limeade

Brand: Yacht Club Hillary's Liberal Limeade.

Origin: Centredale, RI.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: Donald's was a bit sharper, but Hillary's was sweeter. The limeade flavor had a refreshing kick.  It was pretty good, but I couldn't get over just HOW unnaturally neon it was. It tasted like a fun summer drink. My wife and 2 boys both thought Hillary was better (my oldest son noting that it was sweeter), but I HONESTLY was pretty split. Donald maybe have better "adult" flavor, and Hillary was a "sweeter" sipper. I'm not trying to ride the political fence here, but I'm giving them the exact same score.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Tuesday, April 28, 2020

Yacht Club Donald's Populist Punch

I've had these bottles for a while (not 4 years - I swear), and it was time to test them out.

Yacht Club: Donald's Populist Punch and Hillary's Liberal Limeade

Notice it says "Soda Pop Poll" at the bottom of the bottles. They sold 50,000 bottles to see if they could predict the election results, and (after the election results were in) they noted that "Donald's Populist Punch" sold just a bit more than "Hillary's Liberal Limeade" - 22,224 vs 21,360. I thought I'd try them side-by-side. So here's my first review, with the follow up review coming later this week.

Yacht Club Donald's Populist Punch

Brand: Yacht Club Donald's Populist Punch.

Origin: Centredale, RI.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Pure Cane Sugar.

Review: The first sip was a bit sharp. It tasted like a cherry fruit punch. It wasn't bad, I just expected it to be a bit smoother for some reason. Quite drinkable, but nothing special, so I'll rank it just above average.

Score: 6.5 out of 10.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Pennsylvania Dutch Cherry Cola Candy Cane

I was shopping at "Fresh Thyme Farmer's Market" on University Ave in Minneapolis a few weeks back, and I happened to glance across the flavored candy canes. And I spotted this:

Pennsylvania Dutch Cherry Cola Candy Cane
A jar of Pennsylvania Dutch Cherry Cola Candy Canes.

Just the good stuff: sugar, more sugar, fake flavor, and color.

Brand: Pennsylvania Dutch Cherry Cola Candy Cane.

Origin: Hicksville, NY.

Purchase Place: Fresh Thyme, Minneapolis, MN.

Sweetener: Sugar and Corn Syrup.

Review: I was first (pleasantly) surprised to find that there was no strong peppermint taste. Even though it's NOT a traditional candy cane, I was afraid it'd have a hint of peppermint thrown it. But it didn't.

At first, all I tasted was "cherry." There was no other flavor than cherry. "Where's the COLA?" I wondered. Then I realized I was just sucking on a red part - notice in the picture above that the cane is swirled red and brown. I focused my licks on a brown part, and sure enough, that was more "cola" flavored. So that was kinda fun to discover.

Both the cherry and the cola weren't very strong, but they were OK. I'm not really a fan of hard candies, so take that into consideration. This was fine, but there's ZERO chance it could beat an ACTUAL cherry cola. So I'll rank this just below average.

Score: 4 out of 10.

Saturday, April 18, 2020

Dang! That's Good Diet Root Beer

Five years ago, I had "Dang! That's Good" root beer, and it was pretty good. Would the diet version hold up?

Dang! That's Good Diet Root Beer
Oops... popped the top before getting my photo.

Brand: Dang! That's Good Diet Root Beer.

Origin: Milwaukee, WI.

Purchase Place: Blue Sun Soda, Spring Lake Park, MN.

Sweetener: Aspartame.

Review: The first sip tasted really weak - I think I "expect" full flavor from a bottle, so diet sodas are a kick in the teeth right off the bat. But the flavor was good. It was a pretty classic root beer with just a little bite. Yes, it was weaker ("waterier") that I'd like, but it was a decent diet root beer. I'll call this just a point above average.

Score: 6 out of 10.